Content Creation: Half- Year Report -Is Content Still A King In 2017?
All data seems to confirm this is still the case. The growth is so rapid that it’s hard to even quantify the exact growth rate. But this growth becomes evident when you look at how many new pages are popping up daily. In WordPress alone, 2 million new posts are being published every day. Google has even indexed 29 trillion pages of content since 2008.
With the number of internet users growing every day, more content needs to be churned out to keep all these users coming back. Around 40% of the world has internet access, as well, compared to the 1% of the world that had internet access in 1995. With all these users online, everyone is grappling for their attention and their views. This lends itself to content creation becoming one of the more important aspects of success in this consumer based industry.
Seventy percent of Business to Business marketers are planning to create more content in 2017 which means the collective online content is only going to grow and in order to keep up with demand and the competition, creators need to grow alongside it.
Budgets for Content Marketing
On average, 29% of a marketing budget will be spent on content. Moreover, 37% of unsuccessful content marketers say their failure was due in part because their marketing budget was too low. Content Marketing is becoming an important key to be successful in this industry. In order to keep up, content needs to continually be created for users so they will want to come back or have further interest in what is being shown
Images and Video Content
It’s not just text that people create; it’s images, it’s videos, it’s GIFs. Content has become so much more than just an article explaining the news. People sending out a tweet are creating content. The world of content is growing not only in volume but also in a multitude of platforms which allows images and video content to flourish as well. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, to name a few social media sites, allows for a unique form of content and each platform is constantly changing with its users.
Attention spans for online content are dwindling and in order to keep up, you have to keep consumers entertained while they learn and listen about your content. With the average consumer only taking 37 seconds to read an article, images and video allow the viewers to learn about the content but at a much faster rate.
Graphics that help explain information, infographics, has grown in demand over 800% since 2016. These images help quickly explain facts and figures in bite-sized, quickly understandable graphics and bullet points. Infographics are also three times more likely to be shared compared to all other types of content.
Social media has been seen as a way to move people towards your website but now it’s morphing into a new place to actually publish fresh content. These platforms can now become tools to create new kinds of content rather than simply trying to drive users to a certain link.
Social media is also evolving to allow more interaction with users and growing from what they were originally created for. Certain tools on social media platforms are spreading across multiple platforms so you have more options to display your content. On Instagram, you can now create video stories that only appear for 24 hours, similar to Snapchat. While on Snapchat, you can now message people directly rather than just send a photo, similar to what Facebook has allowed users to do.
Determining the best fit for your content will be the next hurdle to overcome so that you are able to get your content seen while also allowing it to be disseminated to the best audience possible.
With the internet in the palm of your hand, the ability to view content is growing vastly. More people are accessing content on their mobile device versus their desktop computers. People want content whenever and wherever they are so they can be entertained as they wait in line at the bank or want to catch up on the latest trending YouTube video. In content, changes are made quickly and cell phones help keep everyone up to speed.
Mobile devices also allow users to create content on the go. People who sit on the train and write out a blog post or snap a picture for Instagram are creating content. Content is pouring out of people and it’s all ending up on the internet for others to see. Mobile devices allow for the fast spread and up to date content for all audiences.
Iphone’s ‘Siri’ or Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ are phone assistants that help consumers learn what the weather will be, they can help call a friend or can even text someone without even needing to touch your phone. How this will affect content creation is that these assistants are searching for exactly what the person said and users will normally ask the question to the assistant as if they were actually talking to another human.
The tone of the searched phrase will be conversational so the keywords you will want to use in your content will become more relaxed in order to be picked up higher on a search engine. Content is losing the formality of a professional email and adapting to a more friend to friend conversation.
Users Trust in Users
Content created by other users is said to be trusted by 85% of people. Rather than large corporations trying to sell to us, we trust the content that comes from “people like us”. Reviews, YouTube videos, this kind of content we can relate to and the likelihood that the content is honest appears greater when it comes from other users. We see these users as people who understand who we are and what we want from a brand or product.
Even if corporations see this as a downfall, it’s actually just the opposite. By mixing your idea or visual content or text with an organic user on a certain platform, you are able to help get your message across but still have it come from a user the vast population seems to trust. The communication between brands and users is growing closer and closer as users willingly let content into their homes that is specifically marketed to them.
Influencers are organic users who specialize in a certain industry (ex. makeup, politics, etc) who have gained credibility in this field and have created a large following. Companies can either work with an influencer to create certain content that promotes their brand or, in some cases, a company can “purchase” the influencer outright.
Casey Neistat had 6 million followers on YouTube and CNN noticed that his audience seemed to be the audience that they were aiming for. They ended up purchasing Neistat, along with his team, for $25 million. The actual purchase of the influencer outright seems to be trending upwards rather than just paying for a blog post. Overall, it will be rarer to see purely because the expense is much greater.
As a user, being able to do more than read or watch the content is interactive content. Out of the content marketers who already use interactive content, 75% of them plan to increase their use in 2017. When people take the time to interact with a quiz or survey, this allows the user to learn about themselves as well as the creator to learn about the consumer.
Using this information allows greater personalization in future posts or interactive content. Buzzfeed contains a vast amount of quizzes, some of which users create themselves, and this helps consumers learn a random, not usually too accurate, fact about themselves. Then seeing which quizzes become the most popular, creators can use that information to write an article about that subject or create a video that will interest that audience.
With the overabundance of content out there to be consumed, creators are learning to personalize content so users are more apt to view their site and stay there. Users are beginning to expect a certain level of personalization because they put so much information out there via social media, interactive content and other avenues, that they want an experience just for them.
Looking at Twitter, that seems to be an entire platform of personalized content. People can tweet at other users specifically or tweet out at an entire audience that has been cultivated of people who enjoy that specific kind of content. You can also follow people who you admire, care about or personally know. You’re able to connect with people through the content they spread and have this personal connection with others that you may not otherwise have.
Even when certain companies or brands tweet at specific users, it’s as if the user is receiving content from the entire brand. It makes users feel special and important and that their content was heard and that the company cared. Personalizing content allows for greater influence in user’s lives.
Taking a Stand with Content
If your content appears on another page, blog, video or other platform, people assume that you support that page, blog, video, etc. When a blog (video, etc) begins to grow disfavor with their users, the users can then take it out on the advertisers or other people who have contributed to this content.
On the reverse, people can also see a certain brand pulling content from another brand or page as a slap in the face. Where you put your content and how your content is displayed is now taking on more importance than simply writing a quick article or taking a picture. If your content is proven disfavorable to an audience, that audience will be quick to let you know.
Videos Videos Videos
Videos have steadily grown in the past few years. Cisco predicts that video content will account for 69% of all internet traffic this year. People want to be entertained by content and they don’t want to sit and comprehend an article for twenty-five minutes. Videos are usually fun, fast and entertaining. The main subject is expressed within the first opening few seconds or minute and the user is able to determine whether this is the information they are looking for.
Videos are also easily sharable. Copying and pasting a link and sending it to friends via Facebook or Twitter is easier than sharing an article because videos are formatted to be viewed in many different ways (on a phone, tablet, television, etc). Whereas articles need to be specifically formatted to be readable on a mobile device or tablet.
Due to the ease of sharing this kind of content, videos also have the ability to go viral much faster. Videos are easy to watch and users are able to connect emotionally with a video much quicker than if they were reading the same information in an article. Videos allow the user to not only see the images but also hear the information which requires less work. Users can just sit back and enjoy the content.
Email is Back
E-newsletters are making their return. Buzzfeed has added over 1 million email subscribers in a year’s time and people are actually opening these emails and reading the content. Businesses have looked at email as a tool to grow the loyalty to a brand and to also entertain or educate their readers.
The emails may contain articles of interest to a specific user or videos and quizzes for them to take. This content can then drive traffic back to the site so the consumer can interact with more content and gain a greater interest in the site.
However, there is a delicate balance with email because many see emails from brands in their inbox and assume it’s spam. Be wary of overusing this re-emerging trend because too many emails could also turn off possible consumers.
Overall, content creation continues to grow every day and creators need to continue to expand their content and educate themselves on new trends and platforms in order to keep up.
A more updated version of this article is included in the first issue of our monthly gazette, The Write Agenda. You can read more of the latest trends and tactics in content marketing by ordering your free copy today. Contact us to request it via ourcontact page or you can receive it together with our latest content tips eBook when you order your professional content from us.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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